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Persian Beef Casserole

Persian Beef Casserole

Tender slow cooked lean beef with onions, tomato, lentils and spiced with turmeric, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Finished with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and chopped mint. Traditionally this type of casserole would be served with rice which has been either boiled or baked with a golden crust and Persian flat breads.


x1 Le Creuset Cast Iron 24cm Round Casserole


Serves 6



  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil - divided   
  • 4 medium Onions - peeled and sliced   
  • 1kg / 2lb 4oz Lean braising steak - cubed   
  • 2 Cloves Garlic - chopped   
  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric   
  • 2 teaspoons Ground cumin   
  • 2 teaspoons Black pepper   
  • 2 x 400g Can chopped tomatoes   
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato puree   
  • 750ml / 3 cups Hot beef stock   
  • 175g / 6oz Green lentils - washed   
  • 2 teaspoons Ground nutmeg   
  • 2 ½ teaspoons Ground cinnamon   
  • 3-4 tablespoons Fresh lime juice   
  • 3 tablespoons Chopped fresh mint


Wine Recommendation:


Oven 170°C / 325°F / Gas Mark 3, pre-heated
Fan Oven 150°C

  1. Heat half the olive oil in the casserole over a low to medium heat, add the sliced onions and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.Then remove the onions from the pot with a slotted spoon and set to one side.   
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pot and heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir fry the beef adding a little at a time so not to overcrowd the pot.   
  3. Once the beef is nicely sealed return the fried onions to the pot along with the garlic, turmeric and cumin. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.   
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree and hot beef stock. Bring the contents to a simmer, place on the lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 1 hour.   
  5. Remove the pot from the oven using a thick cloth or oven gloves.  Stir in the washed lentils, nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon.  
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C / 300°F / Gas Mark 2, Fan Oven 130°C and cook for 1 ¼ –1 ½ hours until the meat is very tender.   
  7. After cooking is completed finish the dish by stirring in the fresh lime juice and chopped mint, adjust the seasoning to taste with a little salt.   
  8. Serve with rice and flatbreads.

Cook’s Notes*

  1. Persian flat breads are known as Nan-E barbari which are similar to Naan and flavoured with cinnamon and sesame seeds.   
  2. To adjust the 24cm casserole recipe-
  • To serve 3-4 use a 20cm casserole and reduce the ingredients by half.   
  • To serve 8-10 use a 28cm casserole and increase the ingredients by half.

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